Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's The End of The Road -no picture post

Goodbye 2014.

I am grateful that I made it through the whole year. Many weren't as blessed. But I made it. It wasn't the worst year but it wasn't great either. I was sick the first part of 2014 and then I seemed to just languish. I did learn some things so I guess I grew a bit. The one thing, looking back, that I see where the problem lay (at least a part of it) was that I had no goals. I don't believe in resolutions but I do believe in having goals to make my life pleasant. To have a sense of being.

I am a list maker. There are many who don't make lists and that's fine. I've discovered that I need lists. Lists of goals. 2014, I had no lists. Not even one, and I floundered all year. And that was pretty bad because nothing got done. I wasn't creative at all. I waited for things to happen and they didn't. I was miserable, I racked my head to figure out where I'd gone wrong. And it was the list (s). I had previous one's from 2013 on my wall. Really? I don't want a repeat of 2014.

SO...

I've got new lists. Quite a few lists. A list for things I need to do everyday. Without fail.

  • write one page or edit one page
  • read
  • sketch
No ifs, ands, or buts about these. Whether it's for 10 minutes or an hour, these are a must.

There is a QUILT list, for all my quilting projects. My WRITING list to finish up stories and start editing my work. Someone else might like to read this stuff besides me. ART A MONTH list. Yeah, I'm still working on that one. February is 29 Faces where you make a face a day.
  • January - I will work on a new character, Kid Medusa
  • February - 29 Faces
  • March - mushrooms (I like mushrooms)
  • April - bears
  • May - paint like a favorite artist
You get where I'm going with this. Some of these will be a part of the sketch a day. Kill two birds with one stone thing.

A list for my DOLLS/FIGURES. Yep, Halloween and Day of the Dead are still hanging around. With an alien or two thrown in. A list for COSTUMES I want to make for me, starting with corsets for every time period I like. That falls into my LONG TERM list.  That list is for projects that will take a year or longer. I've started a room box, miniature size. I've always wanted a dollhouse. Well... we'll see if I can get a room box done. One room. A long term project for me. Same with the costumes. For me. Not to sell. Not for anyone else. For me. Because, sometimes you need to think and do things just for you.

And dagnabbit, I'm going to finish my second pair of socks.

I also have a list to HELP OTHERS. I will be knitting or crocheting and sewing some items for the Merchant Marines. Those men and women who work on the huge sea ships that bring us things from other countries. I like to sew and I like to knit. I can do those things during my down time. I'm sure there are some other things I'd like to do. Like start my Christmas cards in January. Which is tomorrow.

Now, on the other side, I may not get to everything on my lists. That's okay. I have lists to keep me to task and on track. I also have specified down time for me. One day off a week. Or two. I can do that being on my own. I want to stay being on my own. I had a hiccup year with 2014. It will be remedied in 2015.

I'm calling 2015 The Year of the Creative Juggernaught.

I'm excited and I'm ready. Are you?

Come on 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Blue Scrappy Quilt Top

My creative mojo is coming back. Slowly but surely. I surprised myself by finishing my first scrappy quilt top. This was leftover fabric from many projects over the years. I got tired of looking at them in a bag and decided to do something with them. I will add on borders this week and get it on the longarm to quilt.


#scrappyquilt, #blue

Day of the Dead Mariachi Band

I did get them done before Christmas and I almost teared up because I liked how they came out. The person who ordered them, really liked them too. This is my third project completed using a combination of Rigid Wrap and Creative Paper Clay over wire armature. I want to get better at using the Paper Clay and that is on my list for 2015.





A friend helped me out and made the horn. #dayofthedead #paperclay #mariachi band

Mariachi Band Continued

Yep, the last few days before Christmas were spent finishing up the band. It was a gift and I couldn't really post much for fear of giftee seeing things. Here are more steps involved.




Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mariachi Band Taking Shape

This is my last commission for the year. A Day of the Dead Mariachi Band. I finally started getting some skin on them. Once this layer hardens, I can add more and pose their arms. Their instruments will be made too. Stay tuned!


Monday, December 15, 2014

My Scrappy Quilt

I've been working on my scrappy quilt using my scraps I've saved for at least eight years. Got tired of the bag hanging around. I went through it and sorted the pieces by size (cutting a lot) and by color. It will be a throw quilt.




Pieces may or may not stay in this arrangement. #quilting

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Little Mariachi Band

I got a request to make a Day of the Dead Mariachi Band. I finally got started. One will have a horn, one a guitar, and one a drum.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Binding

It's slow catching up but while listening to Christmas music this afternoon, I got the binding on my first quilt I longarmed on Leonidas. I had this fabric for a long time and started a design I saw in a quilt store. I ran out of fabric and knew I would probably have to go online to see if I could get more. That didn't happen. Then my mom sent me some of her fabric and guess what was in the pile? More of what I was using. Still not enough to make a throw, so I put in the red rectangles. It works for me. Finished size is 36" x 52".


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Birdie Quilt

Here's a quilt I've been working on for years. It started as an applique project. We were given a color for the month and had to make the bird pattern. Then we, the students, would switch birds to each other. Here's what I had in a pile, in a corner, in a bag. Some of you will get that reference. I have to put the border on and will then be able to sandwich it and put it on Leonidas.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Something Else That's New

Well, not too new. Ever since I was a little kid, I've always wanted a dollhouse. Not a Barbie dollhouse, but a real miniature dollhouse. I think I bought one when I was a teenager, not knowing anything about dollhouses and it never got put together. Why? It was big and complicated. I looked at the directions and put them back into the box. I think the thing is still in my mom's attic. Maybe one day I will rescue it.

I have a wonderful friend Kim, who lives in the wilds of 'up north' and she likes minis too. I told her my dilemma and she was special enough to get me a room box. I cried when I got a package in the mail. She said to start off small. Yeah, looking back on things, that's probably what I should have done. So I'm starting  my first mini piece. It took me awhile before I opened the box. Then another month or so before I pulled out the instructions and made sure I had all the pieces. Then another couple of months before I decided that I was going to just do it.

That was a challenge. I thought I knew what I was doing. I'd read the instructions, had what I needed to put it together. Yep... Ha! It was like watching an Abbott & Costello movie with Lucy thrown in for good measure. I learned to do one side of the room at a time. Using books and anything else heavy to keep it in place until it dried. Did I ever mention that I'm not very patient when it comes to things drying? Yeah. And of course I had to put one wall on the wrong way. That's why you should be glad that things don't dry right away.


Now I have to figure out what to do next. I did order some wallpaper and wood flooring. A window and door. I think I want it to be a room for a writer. We shall see.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A New Month!

Here we go! A new day in a new month, the last month of the year. Can we say 2014 flew by? I think it did. I’m glad most of it is a blur, a bad one at that. Now it’s time to pull up the big girl pants and forge ahead. I have quilts I am personally working on, waiting for my jobs, getting creative again, and I've a Christmas commission to do. I’m looking forward to doing the commission. It’s been a long time since I’ve done one. Let’s see if I can make up some the the creative stuff I’ve missed out on for the year. It’s going to be a busy December. And that’s okay.
I’m working on my quilt blog. Wanting it, at least, set up today. Until then, here’s a picture of my longarm machine. I’ve named him Leonidas from The 300 movie. I wanted a name that showed a dedicated and hard worker. Dependable. Take no prisoners. Thus, I have blessed it so.


I practiced with three small quilts. One of mine and two made by my mom.
This one is mine. You can see the layering of the final piece. The quilt top I pieced, the white batting, and the red backing fabric.



Close ups of my quilt. The top and the back.


Close up of my mom’s scrappy quilt with a different pantograph pattern.

I’m also still scaling back on the stuff in my apartment. That will be an ongoing process but I’m feeling better about it. I will be making some scrappy quilts of my own so that I can creatively get rid of scraps and fabric I know I will never use. They may or may not be for sell. We’ll see. So get your December on. The year isn’t over yet.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm Back!

It has been a long time since I last blogged. 2014 has been a very strange year and I'm glad it's almost over. This was the first year since the first year I moved to North Carolina, that I didn't create much of anything. And that's very sad. Very, very sad. I'm also still dealing with health issues and once again, car issues but I won't allow those things to deter me any longer. Because I hadn't been creating, I haven't been selling anything. Not very good for the coffers. The mental health started to go downhill because I didn't know what to do. So I stepped back, reevaluated things and decided to take a different direction. Sometimes you just have to do that. Seeing that office type jobs are not my forte (I like playing on my own playground), I had to think of something that would bring in a steady income.

I decided that I would try my hand at longarm quilting. I had thought about it years ago but was a bit chicken about the whole thing. Of course, I was seeing work by people who have been doing it for years and not thinking as a beginner who would have a learning curve. I have taken quilt making (piecing) classes and applique classes, so I know how quilts go together. The next thing to do was to research machines. I found a really nice machine representative who works for APQS. She helped me find a used machine and then I had to set up a business. Good grief. It was one thing after another. Many trips back and forth to downtown, filling out paperwork, not having what one person said I should have. I would get that information, take it back and another person would say I needed something else. I was about to lose my mind but have been so grateful and blessed to have a very special friend who helped me through the last bit of the setting up a business process. It was nice seeing the business license with the business name on it. It was nice getting my first batch of business cards. It was nice when I finally got the machine and it was set up. It was nice having my first class on the longarm, sew my first three sample quilts. It was not nice getting my first business bill before I even got the first quilt on the frame but it was nice to have my first paying job. It's all a process and I'm still learning.

This new venture will enable me to live and still make dolls and figures, and write. I will be starting a new blog just for the quilting and get back to posting on a regular basis.

Oh, my new business name is Wendy B Quilts. Because it will be all about quilts. See ya soon.

Monday, June 9, 2014

It’s Me Again

Yep… once again behind schedule but that’s okay. This is going to be a kicking month. I will make it so. I have a art/craft show next month and I am getting busy. First on the docket, it’s for me, are three pairs of easy shorts. Now that it’s summer, I usually wear shorts in the apartment. I had a pair that used to be pants. Wore them as pants for about a year, then cut them off and wore them as shorts. I would only wear them out to go down to the mailbox or out to take trash. Well one day, I reach behind and felt a hole. No problem, I can fix that. Took them off and oh- my- gosh! It wasn’t just a hole, it was a gaping hole that exposed a good portion of my backside. YIKES! How long had it been that big? Who else saw it? What kind of underwear did I have on? I was embarrassed for a minute. Ha! Then I started laughing. So I go through my fabric, as I don’t have a stash, and I found enough to make three pairs of easy shorts to wear around the apartment while I work. Here’s the fabric.

shorts fabric

I’ve re-fluffed the stuffing from the large doll legs and made up a boot pattern. I’m ready to sew the new legs and re-stuff.

new boot pattern refluffed stuffing

I started to repaint the small prim dollie faces. I don’t know exactly what they will be. Witches or voodoo ladies or zombie types, don’t know. I will work on it. My latest Gail Wilson doll has been repainted and antiqued. Pics later. I’m working on her dress and when I get it done I will dye her whole wardrobe along with fabric for the small prims. My scarecrows need to be painted too (everybody has been giving me dirty looks) and they need shirts. So, I guess I better get going.

base painted prims

Friday, May 30, 2014

Other Things on My Table

I’m finally getting back to making more aliens. The first two sold at an art show in February, and then the sickness. And now the heat and humidity. Not great for baking things. But I shall persevere.

new aliens in works

The pic above shows some heads and the beginnings of feet. I forgot to take a pic of the other heads. I’ve also been working on my Gail Wilson doll and finally got her head repainted. Her bloomers and slip are sewn. I will wait until I have her dress done and take a before and after the dye pic. I like her face a lot better. I used some paint from a previous G Wilson doll kit and did more on her eyes and made her lips darker and fuller. I will give her a light antiquing but no sanding this time.

Gail Wilson repaint 3

Makeover Dollies

Here’s an update on my redo babies. I’ve taken their clothes off, removed button eyes (felt like I was in the opening scene of Coraline), removed embroidered lips and fabric noses, took off legs and unstuffed them.

redo stuffing

Here’s what the stuffing looked like after I fluffed the pieces out.

0529142106

Now I’m ready to reshape the legs. I’ve drawn the old leg out on a piece of cardboard from a cereal box. I’ll draw a new shape for the feet, re-cut the old legs and sew back together. Should be fun.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Re-do Babies

I’ve had these babies for some time now and they haven’t sold. Instead of tossing them, they will get a new life with more of a Halloween feel. Thought I’d take a pic of them Before the transformation. I would like the large ones to be able to sit up by themselves while holding a small cauldron for candy. I will re-work their feet and paint shoes on. The smaller prims will be witches or voodoo women and will also have painted faces and shoes. I will make sure I take in process pics.

redo dolls

I have a total of four Prims. First I will take everyone’s clothes off and hair. I will un-stuff the large doll’s legs and reshape them. I don’t know what the shape will be just yet. Something with a little heel. The Prims boots will be a little easier to do and I can add beads for buttons. There will be distressing of the undergarments and I will gesso the faces for repainting.

It should be interesting.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What Has Been Going On

I’ve been neglecting my blog. Part of it was because nothing was happening except that I was…

SICK.

Sick every month for the first four months of this year. I rarely get sick. And never once a month. Good grief! Last month, April, was really bad. My cough lingered for weeks after I had started to feel better. It took a couple of days to get my appetite back and several more to get my strength back. By that time, it was May. It took awhile for the brain to start functioning properly again. I was well but I didn’t want to do anything. But I knew I had to do something because I was seriously behind on everything.

E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G

The only thing that was good, was that my illness didn’t give me time to beat myself up because nothing was getting done. I was sick, after all. Now that I’m feeling better, and getting back in creative gear. I’m working on a project for a historical settlement building, pics will come once it’s done. I’m back to writing again. Yes, again. I just can’t seem to give it up. I guess I have something to say. My goal is 2500 words a week. My daily creative hours are going up. I have different projects in progress right now and it feels good being back to work but now I’m not feeling it again. Things seem so daunting because I’m so far behind. But that will change because I finally have a show coming up in July when it will be hotter than a mini magma chamber. I’ve got to try it. Which means I’ve got to get busy. Good thing I’ve friends who have tents and I have been in this location before. And Halloween items are in full swing.

Next month, Ayala Art of 29 Faces is hosting a month of male faces. We can do as many faces as we like, as long as their male. I really need to practice my male features and I will give this challenge a shot. So make sure to come back in June and check out my guys.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy Spring and Happy May!

Spring flowers2

Yes, it’s finally spring. Thank goodness. It’s also a new month. I don’t know how I feel about that because the year is almost halfway done. What? Didn’t we just have New Year’s? Any hoo, this has been one crazy year so far. I’ve been sick every month this year and I don’t know what’s going on. I did cut back on my wine consumption so maybe I have too much blood in my wine stream. No seriously, I cut back and I get sick. I was sick twice last month and just now getting back in the creative groove. Yes, I so behind but there’s not much I can do about that except to get busy. I don’t know if I want to make a list of what I’m going to try to accomplish this month because other projects and events are coming up. So I’ll do updates as they come.

I did finish a commission of four ornaments.

commission ornaments

And I finally did a fiber art postcard.

fiber art postcard

I am so ready for spring and summer. I really want to do more day trips and maybe some weekend jaunts. I want to spend more time with my friends and enjoy life. And do lots of new creative stuff. More dolls, witches, and maybe a ghoulish circus. And I want to welcome Judy’s Fabrications to the party.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

13 & 14 of 20: Second Gail Wilson Kit

This little doll and her doll were a challenge to make. The kit didn't come with a dress pattern so she may or may not get a dress. I didn't like how the bloomers turned out and again, she may or may not get some new ones. I didn't like putting sand in the hands and feet and if that shows up again in another kit I will eliminate that step. Don't like the finished effect. Had to make the tiny doll twice because I had a blow out in a seam on the first one. Very interesting. Doll is 8.5 inches and tiny doll is 2.5 inches. Onto the next one.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April- No Pic Post

April. Here we are again. A new month. The fourth in the year and I feel so behind. But, I have a whole new month to create new things. I didn't work much on writing and that will have to change if I want to get something finished. And I'm already thinking Halloween.

I am ready for spring though. This year I want to go outside more. Go on more walks, go to the park and enjoy the birds and plants. I intend on spending more time out-of-doors and with friends. I see more one day trips in my future too. I will not dwell on what didn't get accomplished last month, even though I wonder where March went? It kind of doesn't matter because it's gone.

I started off the month by getting a commission for four Christmas ornaments. Yes, Christmas. And I got a deposit, which is great. For April, I want to finish and work on a lot. I will put it all on my list and see what happens. I still have my Good Things jar and I can't see the bottom anymore, so I guess I'm off to a good start with that. I've made 12 of 20 pieces of art for Lent and I have eight more to go.

APRIL
Finish:

  • 3 rats
  • 2 Gail Wilson dolls
  • 7 aliens
  • 4 bunners
  • Regency romance short story rough draft
Work on:
  • Halloween sketches for witches and other scaries
  • summer blouse for me
  • 3 scarecrows
  • 3 paintings
That's my update for now. I'll be reporting back in on a regular. Take care.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bunner Door Hangers- 12 of 20

I still have time to make things for Easter and I finished these door hangers. Or hangers you can put on your cork board or wherever. They are fully appliqued felt and I think they’re pretty cute. Gotta love those bunners.

Bunner Quad Bunner Trio Bunner Duo

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Money Saving Tip

I usually don’t have these. But I’ve found out that when you think you’ve used up the last of the lotion in a pump bottle or tube, you haven’t. I meant to post this some time ago but forgot to take a picture. So here it is. Do not throw that bottle of lotion away, especially if it’s in a plastic container as most are these days. Take some sharp scissors and carefully cut the bottle halfway down to remove the top portion. When it’s off, you can see down into the bottle and determine if you need to cut more of the plastic. You can then see how much more lotion you have in the bottom of that bottle. They make these things opaque so you can’t see that there’s still lots more you can use, instead of running out to the store to buy more when you think the thing is empty.

lotion

As you can see, there’s a lot left in this container. A good couple of days worth, if not more. So, take the time to see how much more lotion you have in that bottle before tossing it. After taking the top off, cover with a sandwich bag or some Cling Wrap and a rubber band.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On My Table

One of these started out as an art postcard but I decided to turn it into a door hanger. Or something to hang, wherever. I decided to do five to see how they come out. Here’s what I have so far.

bunner hangers

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bunner Bat Ornaments- 7 of 20

Here are some Bunner Bat Ornaments for Easter. They are a part of my own personal art challenge for Lent. The rat doesn’t count just yet because he isn’t dressed. I love bats and I love bunners, so here’s my combination.

Bunner Bat Ornaments

One Rat Done

I finally finished a needle felted rat. It’s not totally finished because he will be dressed and have accessories. So technically, he’s still in the works. I used Sara Renzuli’s technique and I will be tweaking it to make rats that look closer to live rats. Have lots of ideas for these guys.

Rat 1 Rat 1 closeup Rat 1 tail Rat 1 arms down

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Progress

I’ve gotten a bit further on my Halfsies. They have been fully covered with Rigid Wrap. I like using that before I use Creative Paperclay because the Rigid Wrap gives the piece a bit more strength. It’s just me. The process is not written in stone. But it saves on using tons of CP. I also started some bunner ornaments and although part of me wants them to be traditional bunnies, that little weird streak in me is saying, ‘creep them up’ a bit. We shall see. Right now everything is drying and I’ll turn my attention to the rats. See ya soon.

in progress 3 mar 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

More on My Table

I’m still working on my rats but I’m also working on some scarecrows and other Halloween pieces. So here they are.

small scarecrows Halloween Halfies1

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On My Table

I’ve decided to get back to needle felting. I can’t believe how much I’ve missed it. I’m working on rats. I like rats and if they didn’t have such a short lifespan, I would have one as a pet. I’m learning new techniques from Sara Renzuli of Sarafina Arts.

http://www.sarafinafiberart.com/

Now that I’ve started with her technique, I now know what I want to do with the next three. I’m not looking to do realistic rats and because I’m the artist, I can give you my take on what I really want to accomplish. That’s the thing about technique. You learn it from someone else, practice it and apply it to what you want to do, so that your style comes out.

0311142144

They look like skinny moles but that’s okay for right now. There still is much to do.  Also on my table are scarecrows. I cut up old breeches and a waistcoat I got from the costume shop. The fabric is worn and laundered and ready for me to turn them into something sweet and/or creepy. Stay tuned.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

1- Columbian Doll

I finally finished her. My first Gail Wilson doll kit is done. It was interesting putting her together. Learned some new techniques and what I won’t be doing again. I’m looking forward to the next kit.

Shakes Head

This is still turning into a very strange year. Don't know why or what going on but... I've been getting more hours on the job but i...